The Virgin of the Refuge . This virgin is of admirable meaning and she transmits such a comforting calm to you when you understand it. There is no doubt that she is adored by many people since you can lean on her without any fear that you will feel bad for the bad acts you have done. This virgin is the one who gives protection or refuge, as her name says, to sinners who want to become people devoted to religion.
Virgin of the refuge
She is of a maternal and famous character, as the main mediator of us sinners before the eyes of Jesus Christ, her son and of our almighty Lord. On July 4, 1719 Pope Clement XI, who gave the pontifical coronation to this virgin and named her Our Lady of the Refuge of Sinners. She is well celebrated in many parts of the world, but Mexico and Italy are where she is most loved. Her party is on the 4th of July every year that passes.
History of the Virgin of the Refuge
His story is extremely interesting and full of inspiration. It all started, when one day a humble peasant from the province of Siena, in the state of Tuscany, Italy. He was working in the places near where he was, in a town called Paggio Prato, and he approached a stable that was apparently abandoned. In it he found something very peculiar for that place, specifically in the hayloft. He came across an image of the Virgin Mary made of clay.
So he decided to take it with him and place it in a tree that is very strong in the trunk and gigantic, this is called an oak. And this oak was near Montepulciano. All this he did with the purpose of receiving divine protection from him on the land where he worked, all this happened in the year 1690.
Little by little the people of the village began to notice the image on the tree. And they began to pay tribute to her, to pray in front of her, with prayers and prayers to that virgin. So much so that in its surroundings, the followers formed a path that would lead directly to the image and the people, whoever approached, named it the Virgin of the Holm Oaks. The idea and the construction of the road took shape in the year 1699.
As many people came from different parts. Especially from the nearby provinces when her image began to spread and this was also due to the fact that some little girls from the province of Lazio, took the initiative for their childish mind to draw the image of the Virgin Mary, nicknamed Virgin of the Oaks and they took her all over the town where they lived, Viterbo was the name of the town. Distributing prayers and songs to her, which filled the entire town with joy.
Blessed Antonio Baldinucci
This character was a Jesuit missionary priest. He worked in Rome as a professor of philosophy and as a missionary he was passing through each province to impart the word of God or just even to observe how they performed ceremonies in other places. In one of his visits to the town of Viterbo, he observed how the mass venerated this image that the virgin of the oaks called him and he was so impressed with said virgin that he knew that everyone in the country and in the world had to know her. . So he sent a painter who was very trustworthy to him. I commissioned him to paint just as he saw the virgin that day. I have 3 copies made of this.
They each had a specific place to go. The first of these three copies was used by Antonio in the missions in which he directed, taking it to each region of Rome. The second went to Mexico, where it was sent by the same, and where the people adored it with great devotion. The third and last of the copies of the virgin, Baldinucci kept it for himself and kept it stored in his room.
Traits and typical characteristics of the virgin of the refuge
From the beginning and even before getting the image, Blessed Antonio Baldinucci had in mind a virgin who would be his helper, his mentor and his instructor in all those missions he was going to fulfill. He was always looking for her but never got the right image to profess her adoration and veneration. And for those people who did not feel totally confident in entering the Catholic religion, so that he would return the pleas to his followers.
The way in which this image is represented is very peculiar. It is not usual when we talk about virgins since she is seated and with her son, Jesus Christ on her lap but standing up. She is considered very sweet, which conveys many maternal aspects when you see her since her head is tilted towards her son.
This virgin is made up of pink clothes and blue tunics. She also wears scarves around her neck to cover her chest area. As the child Jesus is also together with his mother, he does not wear many clothes, rather he only has a small cloth to cover the modesty and innocence of the baby. Both are represented with a crown on their heads. And with the hands of the Virgin of the refuge intertwined to be able to bear it.